Parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there; tack on the pressure to conform to the ever present “shoulds” (offered by those who know you well or not at all) or the breezy, effusive parenting reports from celebrities, and it’s no wonder parents often feel that they have to put on airs about how seamlessly things are going at home.
On the flip side, you’ll get nothing but the truth from Meredith O’Brien, a Boston-based writer/blogger whose new book, A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum, includes a collection of essays reflecting the disparity between parenting reality and fiction. O’Brien’s perspective comes from that of a mother of three who discovered that her stay-at-home mom status (even once she started freelance writing again) relegated her – in non-at-home circles – as someone whose “experience and knowledge apparently [were] no longer relevant.”
If you are looking for quantitative documentation that you can still be a good, loving parent while not doing everything letter perfect, O’Brien’s book will make for an entertaining read. And while I have a few parenting quirks (e.g., a penchant for handmade cards and lunatic birthday baking) that likely would render me as decent fodder for some of O’Brien’s commentary, I’ve got plenty of other parenting imperfections that – thanks to a great therapist – I’ve learned to embrace. And Laurel seems to be surviving the ride.